Use customer data wisely and well: understand their preferences, respect their privacy

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Use customer data wisely and well: understand their preferences, respect their privacy

In order to offer the personalised service you know your customers enjoy you may need to gather and hold data on them.

However, it’s also critical you respect their privacy: never using that data in a way you haven’t agreed.

This ‘creates a dichotomy’, says a piece over on Small Business.co.uk, which reports on findings from a recent consumer survey from Verint Systems.

Strike the right balance

‘New survey indicates need for organisations to strike the right balance between personalised service, data security and transparency’, flags up the strapline.

The ‘international study’ shows that ‘concerns around data privacy and security remain at the top of the consumer agenda’.

What consumers want

According to the survey of ‘more than 24,000 consumers’ ‘across 12 countries’:

• ‘89 per cent think it is important to know how secure their personal information is’

• ‘86 per cent believe it’s important to know whether their data will be passed on to third parties for marketing purposes’

• However, 80 per cent also said they like ‘service from their providers that is personalised to them and their needs’

It’s an interesting picture.

So, you’re to gather and hold information about ‘customers’ needs, purchasing histories and preferences’, but then treat it absolutely respectfully.

Sounds right.

Businesses on the same page

‘Businesses seem to be on the same page as their customers,’ Small Business.co.uk continues, ‘understanding the role that trust and transparency plays in building positive relationships with their base.’

A business survey – ‘across 1,019 organisations in 12 countries’ – by Verint confirms this:

• ‘94 per cent agree that it is important to inform customers that their data is secure’

• ‘96 per cent understand the need to tell customers if their data will be passed on to third parties’

Tread carefully, is the final thought, though: ‘one misstep with a customer’s data can have disastrous effects’, says Small Business.co.uk.

Getting the basics right

And it closes with quotes from two Verint executives. ‘Companies have a difficult balancing act to negotiate between security, transparency and a personalised experience’, starts Ryan Hollenbeck, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing.

‘It’s something that organisations across all sectors have to get right or risk losing valuable customers.’

‘It comes down to getting the basics right,’ closes Marije Gould, Verint Vice President, EMEA Marketing, ‘using technology and analytics to better understand what’s really on the minds of customers, and then working to help ensure the right resources are in place to address evolving needs and requirements.’

Read the full account over on Small Business.co.uk.

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